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Thread: Barnes 250gr MZ bullet on Moose??

  1. #1
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    Default Barnes 250gr MZ bullet on Moose??

    I drew a cow tag this year and was thinking about trying to fill it with my muzzle loader. I have a T/C hawken flintlock and a 209x50 Encore. I have used the encore for whitetails and have found it to be very accurate with the 250gr barnes bullet and 2 777 magnum pellets. The barnes bullet has proven to be devestating to whitetails but I wasn't sure how it would handle the extra mass of a moose. It has a very large hollow point and has shown much expansion from my experience with whitetails. I have quite a few of these left over from my whitetail hunting and would like to use them for this moose hunt.

    I have yet to shoot my flintlock but thought it might be better with real black powder and T/C maxiball loads. Since I have had teh flintlock for a couple of years now without shooting it yet I doubt I'll get it out this season.

  2. #2

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    I haven't used that particular bullet on moose, but I've whacked them at similar velocities with 240 grain hard cast flat points from 44 mag handguns. I'd have no hesitation with a good hard flat nose (i.e., large meplat), but like you, I'm hesitant about that great big cavity. Truth be known, if I wanted a hollow point I'd go with a full 50 cal like the Hornady Great Plains weighing in at 385 grains. Just a whole lot more weight to keep on pushing once the nose opens up. If you didn't want the hollow, the TC Maxi has a good rep for penetration and good weight at 370 grains. I cast my own and prefer the Lyman Great Plains over all others in the 50 cal. At 395 grains with that big meplat, it's a fer sure moose stomper.

    None of those are sabots, but I have a whole lot more faith in full-caliber, all-lead conicals than I do anything I've ever put in a sabot. Just my twitch, and others can probably make good recommendations if you're set on sabots. You can't use scopes on muzzleloaders during the special hunts, so there's no range advantage to a smaller, faster bullet. Lots of advantage implied in a fatter, heavier bullet though.

    As for your flinter, don't waste your pellets on it. They flat won't work. About all you can use is real black powder, and fortunately Great Northern Guns there in Anchorage always has a good supply.

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    I drew the cow tag this year myself. I have been working up a load for my Encore its a 300 grain Hornady XP which is a jacketed hollow point. and 100 grains loose powder. Barnes are more copper (lead free)and open easier than a jacketed hollow point. But the most important thing is good shot placement. I am very confident in my load for moose. I just hope its not -25 below this november.

    Alaskan100

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    It was not on a moose, but last January I harvested a cow buffalo (Am. Bison) with my muzzleloader. Cow went less than 40 yards before piling up. My load of choice for that hunt was a 405gr POWERBELT Aerotip propelled by 100gr of 777.
    I have seen alot of data on a new bullet which is solid copper. They are called THOR. Have not used them myself, but they have a wicked looking petal formation on impact. Hopefully what I post below about them does not violate this sites policies.

    Interested in trying out the Thor bullet? Simply email or call Thor bullets and Request a Free Sizing sample.

    This Sample comes with the following bullet sizes - .500" - .501" - .502" & .503" Diameter bullet. It is important that you start with the smallest Diameter Thor bullet & work your way up in Diameter size until you find the proper fitting Thor Bullet. This sample is free of charge.

    All it takes is a Phone call or an Email.

    Phone: (660) 244-5251
    Email:
    toertwig@grm.net

  5. #5

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    How are the Thors for penetration? I ask because you reference petal formation, which increases the diameter of a wound cavity, but can also greatly diminish penetration.

    It's a curiosity question for me, because I've not been happy with the penetration from bullets that expand much from muzzleloaders. I'm more prone to heavy bullets with large meplats, along the lines of what serious handgun hunters use, to get some degree of enlarged wound cavity along with great penetration. Truth be known, I'm of the mind that the 50 cal with any bullet is toward the bottom of the effectiveness scale for animals as large as moose unless the shooter puts the bullet in just the right places and it acts perfectly when it gets there.

    My personal minimum for them is more like 54 cal, and in fact I've had even better luck with 58 caliber. And truth be known, I'm experimenting right now with a 62 caliber. Now we're talking moose medicine in my book, or as an aquaintance refers to it: Whompability.

    To repeat, I'm not saying that a 50 is a bad choice, but that it relies lots on accurate shot placement and a balance between expansion and penetration to achieve the effectiveness of a ball or bullet that is a lot larger to begin with, and truly doesn't need to expand at all to do a good job.

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    BrownBear,
    Have not used them, but here are two links that show pictures of what I am talking about, test data, and info from the company website.
    I have ordered some to use this fall during our deer season.

    sites: http://www.thorbullets.com/
    http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php/topic,181799.0.html

  7. #7

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    Thanks for that. I'm betting it's a whale of a bullet for deer, but I think I'll pass for moose. At only 300 grains, I don't have any confidence that much expansion will allow "moose size" penetration. Someone somewhere will pop a moose with one, so we could learn differently. For comparison, the 58 cal maxi weighs 560 grains and uses up a whole lot of moose before it stops penetrating. I haven't found a 62 caliber conical, but the plain roundball weighs in at 340 grains. I'm figuring that a conical will easily top 600 grains.

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    I have taken 4 moose with a 54cal flintlock using 90grs ffg and a 230gr .530dia patched roundball. The longest shot was 80yds, all four moose went down when hit or very shortly after. Penetration of one rb was from the front all the way to the left buttock and was located against the skin flattened to about quarter size. The other 3 moose were shot from 15 to 60 yards and the rb passed thru the lung/heart area and was not recovered.

    You don't really need heavy slugs to take a moose, just good shot placement.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatplanepilot View Post
    You don't really need heavy slugs to take a moose, just good shot placement.
    Bingo! Moose die easy, though I've been in situations where they took a little too long to realize it, and I had to "earn" my moose in retrieving it. Come to think of it though, those were all with modern rifles.

    I'm suffering from a case of bigbore-itis these days, and that's the only explanation for the big holes I'm playing with. There's no need for them for moose, but I can't shake the fascination. Along with the big bore disease comes a comparison of RBs and conicals, though I hunt with round balls almost exclusively. But I'm drawing the line at my Bess, which throws a .735 round ball weighing 598 grains. Ain't no way I'd shoot a conical weighing roughly twice that from such a light gun.... Of course it's a smoothie and wouldn't shoot them anyway.

    My concern with that Thor bullet is the terrific expansion, looking like something on the order of a full caliber in the pic. That would give you a 1-inch "ball" weighing only 300 grains, which would really cut penetration, I think. I'd pick a .490 ball cast of wheelweights to limit expansion over a 50 cal conical that expanded too much I think.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan100 View Post
    I drew the cow tag this year myself. I have been working up a load for my Encore its a 300 grain Hornady XP which is a jacketed hollow point. and 100 grains loose powder. Barnes are more copper (lead free)and open easier than a jacketed hollow point. But the most important thing is good shot placement. I am very confident in my load for moose. I just hope its not -25 below this november.

    Alaskan100
    If your successful on your cow hunt, post some pics and let us know your thoughts on how that jacketed hollow point performs on moose. I'd be curious on penetration myself.

  11. #11

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    Yeah. On a good broadside lung shot it's likely to be an instant killer, which would be a plus in watery spots. Mash the lungs like potatoes. Take pics if possible, but be sure to report back in any case.

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    Well I guess all that worrying was for naught. The 250gr barnes MZ will definately kill a moose. I took a big cow this morning. Hit right at the point of the shoulder exited out far side, found one petal in the shoulder joint. The cow did a 15 yard pigeon waddle and dropped.


  13. #13

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    Outstanding! That's really good to know, and I appreciate the feedback. How long was the shot?

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